There’s a Lot to See During Art Basel Hong Kong. Here’s a Rundown of the Highlights

Getting ready to head over to the fair? We've got you covered.

Art Basel Hong Kong. Courtesy Art Basel.

For its seventh edition, Art Basel Hong Kong welcomes a whopping 242 galleries from more than 30 countries, with more than half of the exhibitors coming from Asian and Asia-Pacific countries.

Expectations are high after last year’s program, which brought 80,000 visitors to the fair over the course of five days, and as the event continues to make inroads in Asian markets, there is pressure to live up to its Art Basel pedigree.

Of the 200-plus galleries flooding the Hong Kong Convention Center, around 180 of them will be in the main sector. Pearl Lam Galleries, a Hong Kong staple, will have works by South Korean artist Chun Kwang Young, whose textural paper compositions practically bloom from their perches on walls. The London-based gallery Richard Nagy Ltd. is dedicating its entire booth to ethereal works on paper by Egon Schiele. And on the other end of the spectrum, NANZUKA gallery‘s booth will be bursting with neon-colored canvases by the likes of Erik Parker, Katherine Bernhardt, and Masato Mori.

Visitors can expect great Instagram opportunities in the Encounters sector, which this year focuses on current events and civic engagement through 12 large-scale installations, eight of which are premiering at this year’s fair. Curator Alexie Glass-Kantor describes the selection as “both a call to action and a proposition to re-energize, re-incarnate, re-innovate, and rise—in the extreme, to find hope in hopelessness.”

Elmgreen & Dragset,
City in the Sky
(2019). Courtesy of Kukje Gallery, Massimo De Carlo, Perrotin.

Some of the highlights from that section include a new piece by Elmgreen & Dragset called City in the Sky, in which a three-dimensional skyline of towering buildings hangs upside-down above viewers. That’s especially relevant in a city like Hong Kong, where the future of urbanization and technology are never far from mind.

Another work to keep an eye out for is Joël Andrianomearisoa‘s The Cartographies of Desire, the space between us (2019), a massive installation of wooden beams and silk paper. Andrianomearisoa will be representing Madagascar for its first-ever entrance to the Venice Biennale in May.

There’s plenty to see and do outside the confines of the Convention Centre too. Just look out over the Victoria Harbor and you’ll catch a glimpse of something unusual floating in the water alongside shipping barges and passenger boats: a giant inflatable Companion by the Brooklyn-based artist KAWS.

Most of the VIPs from the fair will be cruising over to the blue-chip galleries that line the H Queens building and the nearby Pedder Building. Be sure to stop by Lévy Gorvy’s new gallery to see the exhibition “Return to Nature” (which opens March 25 to coincide with the fair) at the historic St. George’s building.

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